Is The One-Drop Rule Still Applicable These Days?

I gotta be honest, I’m creeping up on the age of 40 & I can’t recall one time in my entire life where I heard a white person use the term “one-drop rule” in reference to a biracial person that has some black in him/her..and I’ve lived the majority of my life in the South of all places.  Seriously, I can’t recall one instance at all.  BUT, I can recall PLENTY of instances of black people making reference to the one-drop rule in regards to whom they believe is black based off of some old archaic slavery terminology.  So why are black people so hung up on this “one-drop rule” foolishness?

So what is the “one-drop rule”?

To keep it rather short & sweet, the one-drop rule was a social & legal term stemming from Antebellum slavery that basically stated if you had any ounce of black in your lineage, you were black…no matter how light you were.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  You’s a Negra.  And black people have accepted that rule since forever now and are quick to whip it out on a “black” person who may not necessarily identify with being black due to their mixed heritage…especially a mulatto.  I bring this up due to a recent debate on Facebook I witnessed in which a mulatto female born, raised & living in Europe didn’t identify as being black but black AND white Americans she was debating with weren’t trying to hear all that shit.  The discussion even came down to how her kids would be viewed and this woman posted a picture of her baby…if you saw this baby and had no idea who his mother was, you would honestly think this was just a white baby (possibly hispanic).  BUT…the American Knee Grow Delegation wasn’t trying to hear all of that shit.  The whipped the “one-drop rule” out and determined that this case was closed & to be dismissed.  But the problem was, they were telling a mulatto European to abandon whatever cultural norms she was raised by in order to explicitly accept American norms when it comes to how race is perceived strictly in America.  I don’t believe black people can just necessarily cast their beliefs off from what they’ve been taught about race due to American society onto every non-white person in the world because every other non-white person doesn’t necessarily experience issues pertaining to race in the exact same manner as black Americans.  Like take the term mulatto for instance, many blacks have a severe issue with the term in reference to a biracial person (like me) who has one black parent & one white parent, yet in many parts of the world, the term is used quite regularly & not deemed offensive.  The irony is the term mulatto is a relic of Antebellum slavery as well, so a lot of blacks have an issue with the word “mulatto” but have no issue with the term “one-drop rule”…funny how that works.  I believe the issue with “mulatto” and the non-issue with “one-drop rule” is due to black people not wanting people who have been historically lumped in to the “black” category attempting to separate themselves from the “black” category….but that’s another blog in the future I suppose.

Anyways…back to this one-drop rule foolishness.

My mother is black, my biological dad was white (he’s deceased now) and I’ve always identified as black.  Never had an real issue in doing so as it was just expected because at an early age I was literally taught that I was black, as in I actually had to be taught to view myself as black regardless of how light I was or the fact that I knew my biological dad was a white guy…didn’t matter, I was raised by my black side of the family and I was black.  Case closed most would say.  But like I mentioned earlier, the ONLY people who have ever assumed and/or expected me to be “just black” were ONLY black people.  That’s it.  Every white person I have ever met in real life has always assumed I was hispanic, some even thought I was from the Mid East, or they would ALWAYS ask me what I was mixed with.  Every white person I have encountered has NEVER just automatically assumed I was JUST black and that’s that.  Why that is, I’m not 100% sure, but I do have my theories.  One theory is that I believe a lot of white people make racial assumptions purely off of one’s skin color only & physical features.  So if you are a non-mixed black person, they are automatically going to label you as black because you look black.  If you look hispanic, they will automatically assume you are hispanic and so on.  When it comes to people like me, it’s ALWAYS been either hispanic or mixed…never just black.  I assume they examine my facial features to come these conclusions…who fucking knows.  But the point I’m trying to make is, I have never encountered a single white person in my entire life who hit me with the “one-drop rule” foolishness in order to relegate me to the “black category” only.  Black people are the ONLY ones I have ever seen practicing this.  And I get why black people do it, trust me I do.  But, this isn’t Antebellum slavery anymore and a lot of mulatto people (especially those who grow up with the white side of their family) don’t really accept that bullshit from black people…and I agree with them.  If a mulatto person doesn’t want to identify as black, then that is his/her right to do so regardless of all the “one-drop rule” b.s. non-mixed black people will do to relegate that mulatto person to just being ONLY black.  Black people need to get it in their heads that a lot of mulattos, whether they admit to it or not, have always struggled with simply identifying as black in some shape or form simply because most of us mulattos understand that what we see in the mirror doesn’t exactly match up with how most of our black family members look nor does it match up with what society visually deems as “black”.  Real talk, I just saw a news broadcast the other day and they had a light skin suspect’s picture on there wanted for questioning or some shit.  The newscaster specifically stated “a light skin or possibly hispanic man is wanted in connection to blah blah blah”…the newscaster did NOT say “a black man…”.  I found that rather funny considering the argument I witnessed between that European mulatto and black Americans a few days prior.

Some of you are reading this thinking, “look at this coon ass nigga here!”, “this nigga thinks he ain’t black!” or whatever dumb shit is possibly floating around in your brain…that’s cool.  If it makes you feel better, I do identify as black…some of the time 😬.  But my point in even writing this is to say, black people have no control over how a biracial person chooses to identify.  You can make all the arguments you want for trying to declare that a biracial or mulatto person is strictly just black based off some old ass rule from slavery, but the reality is, that’s just YOUR reality that you can’t let go of probably due to you not wanting another group people to remove themselves from the stigma of being black that white supremacy has enforced upon black people for centuries now.  I get it.  But that doesn’t change reality.  A black person can say, “whatever man, white people will still see you as black”.  Truth is, most white people have never assumed I was just black.  It’s ALWAYS been everything else BUT black and this is something a lot of mulattos can relate to whether they will admit to it or not.  Also, understand, this is no way implying that because we are biracial that we are somehow better than black people because white society doesn’t see us exactly how they see a non-mixed black person, this is just simply telling you all to drop the “one-drop rule” bullshit in trying to just lump EVERYBODY into the black category simply because a biracial person has a black family member in their lineage somewhere.  A biracial person has the right to identify how the fuck they want and the very system responsible for these labels often times go above and beyond to make note that we biracials are not JUST black.  For you black parents with biracial or mulatto kids, if you are “forcing” your child to strictly identify as black, do understand that one day that child will grow up and begin comprehending the world differently from you in terms of racial constructs, because the reality is, your child more than likely will not experience racism from white society in the exact same manner as you.  I’m not trying to brag or make it seem like this is some “mulatto/biracial privilege”…I’m just being honest with you.  I speak about racism a lot on this website, but the truth is, I’ve never really experienced racism nowhere near to the level of that a non-mixed black person.  I’m just being honest.  Sure, I’ve had the word nigger hurled to me once or twice by a white person, but in regards to white society as a whole (too include cops)…I’ve never really had any type of issue with them at all…period point blank.  MY FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE which is why I speak about it so much.  I was raised around black people and I saw how they were treated first hand, often times even witnessed how I was treated somewhat differently right in their presence.  I didn’t make the rules, I’m just telling you how things have happened that I’m sure a lot of mulattos can understand.  But if you have a mulatto child, do understand, that there is a high possibility that your child will experience life in a similar manner as I have & eventually grow up to realize that they possibly will not have to experience the same bullshit you (their black parent) may deal with just because you are black and they are biracial.  Just keeping it real with ya whether you believe me or not.  Hell look at President Obama…have you ever wondering why the first “black” President just happened to be a mulatto?

B-b-but…they called Barack Obama BLACK & a NIGGER!”  — random black person reading this

Sure they did, but that’s mainly due to Obama publicly self-identifying as black.  If Obama had of came out & said “he’s a mulatto or just mixed” the majority of white America would have called him just mulatto or mixed…only black people would have had a severe issue with him not identifying purely as black.  But I predict a black person reading this & possibly attempting to tell me I’m full of shit as if I don’t know my own damn life experiences or I don’t know how other mulattos or biracials think as if I’ve never had any contact with any of them despite the fact that it’s literally Facebook groups dedicated to mulattos and biracials who repeat the same thing I’ve just stated day in and day out about their disdain with black people not giving biracials a choice for how we want to identify even though we see how white society has always viewed us different from being JUST black.  But…you know…that’s black people for ya I suppose.

P.S.  Spare me the tragic mulatto line.  Come up with some new material.

Light skin dude with an opinion
  • Persephone Jones

    When I say that mixed people are just that “mixed” or “biracial”, I get challenged by most black people and some black identified mixed people.

    Now, white passing mixed people and dark skinned mixed people have their own story to tell.

    The one-drop-rule needs to go.

    • We are mixed. It’s very obvious in most instances. Mixed people who want to declare strictly black as if they are not mixed are in denial & trying to appease appease their black side of the family. Black people purposely trying to restrict us to the “black” category are delusional as well.

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